'Foto Crowd'
John Goto 2002/3



Private View (unpublished) by John Goto

Written on Rome Railway Station, Aug 1993

Exhibiting Artist ...oh thanks, you keeping well?

Gallery Assistant   Couldn't be better. Just moved into a new flat in Knightbridge, used to belong to Princess Di, great views.

Exhibiting Artist   And the gallery?

Gallery Assistant   A bit quiet at the moment but you'd expect that what with Lloyds and the bombs and the holidays.   Got a strong mixed show coming up of gallery artists, then we are doing _____'s recent paintings, and then we'll be doing his recent prints.

Exhibiting Artist    Showing any photography?

Gallery Assistant    Well we are thinking about doing _____'s caesarean shots.   There's a new book out of his work and his bizarre death has created a lot of interest. But you know photography is a washout, however much we try, just can't sell the stuff.   Have you sold any of these?

Exhibiting Artist    No, but they say they are confident they will.

Artist B    Hey, great show.   Love it.   Best yet.   Marvellous.    Oh hi... long time, how's the gallery?

Gallery Assistant    Well I was just saying we are really pushing out the boat on photography.   Saw that you're showing in New York.

Artist B    Well that came about in the strangest way.   I was in a group show in Zurich which Ernst put together about tripod photography, not much of an idea but he's such a delightful guy, looks like Orson Wells in 'A Touch of Evil'.   I just had to do it.   Well they were showing Claus _____ at the same time...nice guy, it's the second time we've met, and I was out dining with Ernst when who should appear at the next table but Jenny.   She handles Claus's work in America but Gunter does it in Europe...there was talk at one time about Jenny ditching him when she found out he was screwing with Gunter, but good sense prevailed.   Claus isn't much of an artist, one of life's innocents but as I say a decent enough guy.   So where was I, oh yes, at the next table...

Exhibiting Artist    Excuse me a minute, I think I should circulate a little...

Hi, glad you could make it, how's it going?

Ex-student    Not so good.

Exhibiting Artist    Got anywhere to work?

Ex-student    Well I've applied to D.U.M.P. and they might have something coming up in an old abattoir but there are problems with damp and no heating.   But I figure that if I can get some sort of job doing nights, a security guard or something, then I can move out of home and get back to London.   Evesham really pisses me off.   But the worst part is not knowing what to photograph, you know...what to do.   That's where I need to talk to you, I mean really talk.

Exhibiting Artist    Well you've got my number haven't you, give me a ring sometime, but I always did say it would be tough.

Ex-student    I know but I've tried for open exhibitions like you suggested and just get rejected, and anyway I think Lydia might be pregnant.

Exhibiting Artist    Must go, give me a ring.

Gallery Owner    I'm hearing some very positive things this evening but this is just the beginning.   We'll place your work in a number of international collections and maybe fix up a few commissions through my friends in the City.   But remember it's the foreign buyers who really count.   Did I tell you that we have the largest client group of psychoanalysts in the world?   They all come to us; Freudians, Slovenians, Jungians, Albanians, we have something to suit them all.   It's down to trust really, clients need to trust the gallery and we offer them work that we personally believe in, at the most competitive prices.   Of course it will take time.   It takes five years to build an artist up to the level of ____, but we did it for him and we can do it for you...of course it might not work out but then we simply deduct the price of the frames and other expenses and return what's left of the work to you... but it isn't going to happen because I believe in your work, right from the moment I first saw the...what were they... pictures from China...

Exhibiting Artist    Russia actually...

Gallery Owner    ...exactly, I've known that you fit in with what I'm trying to do here, wonderful.   Annie dear, how are you?

Annie    Hello darling, simply great, wonderful.

Gallery Owner    May I introduce the artist...

Annie    Oh, hello.   Now look here darling, you simply must prise yourself away from this gallery and come over and see us.   He works far too hard you know, I can never get to see him in the afternoons unless I come here.   He gives it his all, acts like a father to you boys.

Gallery Owner    Annie is one of our most valued and discerning clients, we go back a long way...

Annie   laughter

Gallery Owner    Come over here Annie, there's someone I'd like you to meet...

Critic    All alone?

Exhibiting Artist    Oh hi, how are you?

Critic    Fine.   How come you moved here?

Exhibiting Artist    Oh, my last gallery were dragging their feet and I though it was time for a change.

Critic    I see.

Exhibiting Artist    Are you busy?

Critic    Well I had to cover the Biennale, which was mixed, some interesting work from the Philippines, and the body is big everywhere.   But the real fun was stopping off at Muller's gallery in Vienna where I participated in a show entitled 'Leather into Art' by pissing over one of the exhibitors at the opening.

Exhibiting Artist    Really, very interesting.   Could I ask if there's any chance you might write something about this?

Critic    Well, I must make it clear that I'm a totally free agent, and I write only about things that I consider important.   My critical integrity is of paramount importance and I'm surprised you should attempt to compromise me by asking that question.

Exhibiting Artist    Sorry.

Critic    Accepted, but I must say that I was surprised to receive your invitation to this.   Surely you know where I stand, how could you have thought I'd be interested in this work?   Quite honestly I think it totally fails to address the pressing issues of our times; issues I outline in my review of 'Leather into Art'.

Public Gallery Director    Hi guys, what are you up to, pulling each other's plonkers no doubt?

Critic    Chance would be a fine thing.

Public Gallery Director    There's enough pricks here tonight, thought you'd be spoilt for choice.

Exhibiting Artist    Glad you could make it.

Public Gallery Director    Well I was in town anyway, chatting up some execs from Kitsabushi for our next nip show.   Working on it with Sir _____ at the School of Orientalism, top man in his field and a chum of Lord _____ our governor.   It'll be cutting edge... and of course I get a trip over there.

Exhibiting Artist    I thought you might be interested in the next project I'm working on, it's about...

Public Gallery Director    I'm hardly doing any solo shows these days...get more of a buzz cooking up mixed shows myself...but send me some slides.   Sorry about the last lot, don't know where they went....look at the legs on that, go right up to her armpits.

Critic    Be seeing you.

Public Gallery Director    Which way are you going,   I'll come along as far as Marble Arch.

Exhibiting Artist    Bye.   Thanks for coming.   Bye.   See you.   Thanks for everything.   Good luck with the show...workshop...pregnancy...PhD... job application.   Goodnight all.


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